Fathers play an important role in their children’s lives but this population lacks a comprehensive, coordinated effort to sufficiently address the significant and far-reaching challenges that men in the community face. As a result of this gap, and to ensure children grow up with a responsible father in their life, the Coalition launched a new community-wide NEFL Fatherhood Task Force this month.
The Coalition’s Fatherhood Initiative hosted the first meeting on August 12th. Community-based organization’s (CBOs) serving fathers and the families met to provide support and discuss the formation of the Task Force. Rev. Tom Rodgers, an officer of the Coalition’s Board of Directors, serves as chair of the Task Force. Participating organizations include Operation New Hope, the Department of Revenue — Child Support Services, the Department of Children and Families, Project SOS, Family Support Services of North Florida, Three Rivers Legal Services, Jacksonville Re-Entry Center, Gateway Community Services, United Way-Real Sense and Jacksonville Sheriff Office Community Transition Center.
The key function of the Task Force is to focus the collective fatherhood expertise, training and resources of Jacksonville’s fatherhood programs on targeted projects supporting fathers. The mission of the Task Force is “To significantly increase the number of children in and around Jacksonville that grow up with a responsible father in their lives.”
A SWOT analysis was conducted to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat of all of the combined fatherhood programming in Jacksonville. Meaningful information was generated for each category and several useful themes emerged from the analysis that will be discussed to formulate a plan of action at the next scheduled task force meeting on September 9.
Until further notice, the Task Force will meet the second Wednesday of every month at 11:00 am at the Magnolia Project, 5300 N. Pearl St. Jacksonville, FL 32208.